Symptoms and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a disease of the spinal column, which is characterized by degeneration of the intervertebral disc, with the presence of a significant reduction in its height, reactive growth of the marginal osteophyte, as well as sclerosis of the spinal discs.

The vertebrae of the cervical region are close enough to each other. The muscular framework in this area is relatively poorly developed, so cervical osteochondrosis, even with a small load, leads to displacement of the spinal disc, accompanied by compression of nerves and blood vessels.

The affected cartilaginous tissue of the disc from osteochondrosis gradually transforms and degenerates into a bone formation. As a result, the disc hardens and shrinks in size, and eventually loses its cushioning properties between the vertebral discs, which causes pressure on the nerve endings, with further pain.

The intervertebral discs of the cervical region are a fibrocartilaginous plate. In the middle of the disc there is a nucleus surrounded by anulus fibrosus, i. e. tendon-like tissue. The intervertebral disc does not have a vascular system, so nutrition takes place with the help of other tissues.

An important source of intervertebral discs are spinal muscles, their dystrophy leads to symptoms of osteochondrosis. In the process of lifting weights, jumping or other physical exertion, the cushioning functions of the spine maintain the necessary distance between the vertebrae. A disorder is a pathology. Photo below.

Protrusion of the intervertebral disc of the spine - a sign of osteochondrosis

I would like to emphasize, since protrusions (the main signs of osteochondrosis) are formed much more often in the lumbar spine, and therefore complications appear - intervertebral hernias.

Protrusion of the intervertebral disc is prolapse (protrusion) of the disc without rupture of the annulus fibrosus.

The outflow of the nucleus pulposus, i. e. the rupture of the fibrous ring, is a disc herniation - the final stage of osteochondrosis.

Reasons for development

  1. Infections.
  2. Inebriation.
  3. Metabolic disease.
  4. Changes in the years.
  5. genetic predisposition.
  6. Lack of fluids and vitamins in the diet (malnutrition).
  7. Spinal injury.
  8. Excessive weight.
  9. Bad ecology.
  10. Postural disorder.
  11. Rachiocampsis.
  12. Flat feet.
  13. Sedentary lifestyle of the body.
  14. Instability of segments in the spine.
  15. Staying in uncomfortable positions for a long time (pressure on the discs).
  16. Frequent jerking movements or changes in body position.
  17. Overloading of the spine due to wearing uncomfortable shoes, such as high heels.
  18. Physical exercises.
  19. Unevenly developed musculoskeletal system.
  20. Pregnancy.
  21. stressful situations.
  22. Excessive alcohol consumption.
  23. Smoking.
  24. Hypothermia.
  25. Long-term stay in a cold environment.
  26. Nervous tension.

Signs and symptoms

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine has the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness, headache. It should be emphasized that in most cases the signs of cervical osteochondrosis are accompanied by a headache. This circumstance is associated with pressure on the vessels of the cervix and head. Usually, these symptoms and pain syndrome cause serious discomfort to the person, reducing performance. Moreover, the headache is aggravated by different movements of the body;
  • dizzinessthey appear when turning the head sharply to the side;
  • Chest and arm painin the period of osteochondrosis of the cervical region, it is very similar to the signs of angina pectoris, that is, burning or pressing pain in the heart. In most cases, the pain in the hands is accompanied by a feeling of tingling and numbness;
  • Lumbago- This is the most common symptom of cervical osteochondrosis. A similar unpleasant feeling as a strong pain spreads to the fingers;
  • Numbness of the tongue. The appearance of this symptom of cervical osteochondrosis causes limitation of tongue movement. In this regard, many patients complain of a change in the tone of the vocal cords (they become very rough), as well as of speech.
Pain is the main symptom of cervical osteochondrosis.


Therefore, diagnosis and treatment are carried out by medical specialists - vertebrologists, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, with the help of a visual examination of the patient in connection with complaints of limited mobility or deformity. Examine the patient in a sitting, lying, standing, resting or moving position. The level of damage to the spine area is determined according to a special scheme.

Determining the localization, degree and nature of pain, increased tension in the muscles along the spinal column is done by palpating the spine. Bending, turning, bending of the body indicate the range of motion in the affected area.

In the future, osteochondrosis is diagnosed using MRI, computed tomography or radiography. Checking the condition of the blood vessels of the cervical region requires the appointment of a duplex scan or ultrasound tomography.


In the initial stage of cervical osteochondrosis treatment, neck pain increases

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and its complications are treated with conservative methods aimed at eliminating pain syndrome, dysfunction of the spinal roots, as well as preventing the progression of dystrophic changes in the structure of the spine. In the case when conservative treatment is ineffective, then according to certain indications, surgical (operative) treatment is carried out, whereby the volume depends on the clinical manifestation of osteochondrosis and the level of the lesion.

The treatment of osteochondrosis directly depends on the severity of the disease, changes in age, the method of treatment used, and the conscientious implementation of the doctor's recommendations and prescriptions.. Usually at the beginning of the treatment there is an increase in pain in the cervical spine, but they soon stop with the use of drugs, physiotherapy procedures, as well as physical procedures and therapeutic massage.

The most effective result in the treatment of osteochondrosis is the complex treatment of the disease of the musculoskeletal system as a whole.


Exercises and gymnastics for osteochondrosis in the cervical spine help reduce pain, strengthen the cervical muscles, so that osteochondrosis reduces the likelihood of recurrence.

  1. It is recommended to start withsimple exercise - ten gentle turns of the cervical spine. Gymnastics is performed as follows: the head is turned in one direction, while it freezes in a certain place for a few seconds, and then in another, repeating the process. During the exercise, the head must not be lowered, the gaze is directed in front of you.
  2. Exercises - head tilts. The head is tilted to the left so that the ear touches the shoulder joint, and the shoulders must be relaxed. We repeat on the right side. The above exercises restore the damping properties. Photo below.
  3. Therapeutic exercises on the cervical spine for osteochondrosis
  4. Stretching exercises for neck muscles.We bend our necks and tilt our heads back and forth. In the process of moving forward, the chin is pressed to the chest and held in a similar position for several seconds. As a result, we screw the head back into its original position and tilt it back. The exercises are repeated ten times.

As you can see, exercises or gymnastics for the neck are very simple, but extremely effective. The main thing is to exercise regularly..


Osteochondrosis is not a sentence! Treatment with drugs, massage, therapeutic exercises are quite possible at home.

Massage of the cervical spine in osteochondrosis is performed in the presence of a person close to you. Massage oil is used to reduce discomfort.

To perform the procedure, the neck is prepared, where the patient is laid on a wide surface and a folded towel is placed under the shoulder blades.These actions will help you stretch your neck muscles and lengthen your spine. For a while, the patient's muscles relax. As a result, the patient sits on a chair with a straight back..

After a certain time, the neck is lubricated with massage oil. The oil takes into account medications that work to relieve headaches. Such oil usually contains capsaicin, which heats up during use and thus provides a pleasant environment at the time of the massage.

So, the massage begins in the following way, the trapezius muscle is felt, which descends from the upper part of the neck to the shoulders. Squeeze hard enough to feel pressure, but gently, without pain. The right hand massages the muscle of the left side. Each muscle is counted for five minutes, then allowed to rest and repeated again.

The massage ends by wrapping the area you massaged with a warm towel, after which it is preferable to rest in bed.. Proper massage practice causes drowsiness.